The Summer Movie Season is long and full of sequels, though one of this year’s more anticipated followups doesn’t feature superheroes, but power-couple Jenko and Schmidt back together in 22 Jump Street. While the original 21 Jump Street movie reboot was a surprise hit back in 2012, the second installment is one of this year’s more buzzed-about new arrivals; that directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s first release of 2014, The LEGO Movie, was also an unexpected critical/box office success, has only heightened interest in the next trip to Jump Street.
Fortunately, the trailers for 22 Jump Street have been quite entertaining so far, suggesting that Lord and Miller could have another home run on their hands. The sequel picks back up with goofball cops Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill), who are now going undercover at a local university instead of high school – since, as their boss Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) astutely observes in a newly-released final red band trailer for the film (see above), “Your a** look like you’re about 50.”
Past trailers and the first clip released from 22 Jump Street have teased a scene where Tatum and Hill attempt to (badly) pass themselves off as Latino gangsters, but the final red band preview provides some proper context for that scene – besides how it serves as an excuse for Tatum to show off his wonderfully terrible Mexican accent, that is. In short, the drug suppliers that Jenko and Schmidt are tracking this time around require the duo to travel south of the U.S./Mexico border, where college students are tearing it up during their spring break.
It’ll be interesting to see what additional mileage 22 Jump Street can gain from making jabs at youth party culture, following on the heels of recent films like Spring Breakers and Project X; the latter was co-penned by Michael Bacall, who co-wrote both Jump Street movies, so there may well be some overlap there. Freshening things up along the way will be humor derived from the continuing dysfunctional bromance between Jenko and Schmidt, with Tatum and Hill’s screen chemistry looking to be as strong as ever here.
In addition, 22 Jump Street appears to proffer the kind of cultural satire and self-effacing jokes that have become one of Lord and Miller’s trademarks. The fact that the second Jump Street installment (drawn from a screen story by Bacall and Hill) bears more than a passing resemblance to its predecessor is already being targeted, like in the red band trailer scene where Ice Cube starts yelling “It’s the same case! Do the same thing!” – recalling Nick Offerman’s brief appearance in the first 21 Jump Street movie, where he complains about a lack of imagination within the “police department.”
22 Jump Street co-writer Rodney Rothman brought a similar pop cultural awareness to the script for Grudge Match last year, while the sequel’s third screenwriter, Oren Uziel, has found additional employment so far thanks to his ability to bring fresh ideas to stale franchises; hence, he’s also working on the scripts for a new Mortal Kombat and Men in Black reboot.
All in all, it’s looking as though Lord and Miller may continue to prove themselves to be Hollywood’s unlikely saviors with their latest film. If nothing else, at least 22 Jump Street ought to wind up being remembered for having had some pretty funny red band trailers.
22 Jump Street opens in U.S. theaters on June 13th, 2014.